How do you communicate bad news?

What message would you communicate to your employees if you are (or were to be) a leader of a company suffering from lost profits, lost customers and/or lost value during these still uncertain times? How would you communicate it? What would you expect the employees to do next? What might you tell employees about changes you/leadership will make? How would you handle your own emotions caused by uncertainty? How might you refocus yourself, your mastermind (those around you that help with decisions) and your employees on solutions? How might you keep the communication… and the positive sparks it should create…alive?

Wow! Strength of team

I set a new precedence in my last email by extending a “Wow!” to actions that did not necessarily happen by the preceding week, but triggered during the week in my mind (usually during a long fast walk!) and worth broadcasting.  This week’s “Wow!” follows this same trend.  Another similarity is that this week’s entry has to do with learning.  The difference, though, is that last week it was about someone who has greatly helped my learning.  This time it is about a team member who is truly giving his best effort to learn and build his value to the team.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: “WOW!” , you are proving your strength of character as you step back from a lead role and take on projects for which you have introduced to us your peers and subject experts … all in a selfless drive to make sure Abrige & C-Secure get the final product we need.

Why is this “wow!”? You and your team brought back DISCOVERY (after it did not accept operating system upgrades well) when others before you had failed.  You simply took one step at a time…and did it!

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How employees can improve their performance review success

I wanted to share with you what a consultant hired to work with employees is promoting. The consultant is Dr. Doris Helge of Joy at Work. While this is aimed at employees, I believe you will benefit from reading it:

ENSURE CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK FROM MANAGEMENT

Dana and Frank are discussing the results of Frank’s recent performance evaluation.

Dana: You sound like you were surprised by the boss’s negative comments.
Frank: Surprised? . . . Amazed! All year long I’ve thought things were fine!
Dana: You have to schedule informal appraisals all year long.

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Wow! Mentoring the leader

Some of you have heard a lot about our company officer ——— and are unsure what his role is.  Here’s the deal: other than being extraordinary (which is a characteristic and not a role), he is a professional and personal mentor to me.  He has vast experience in leading and mentoring. He offers a fabulous mix of bedside manner and discipline that has served me and our company well.  He also “gets” both of the businesses we run, Abrige and C-Secure Systems, and continuously networks to uncover market needs and generate leads.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: “WOW!”, for not only introducing us into the market… I give a resounding thank you for helping me to become a better leader and to keep our company aligned with its vision without falling out of line with our strong values.

Why is this “wow!”? The company leadership sets the tone and direction for all.  As we grow and become visible it can be so appealing to try and do everything and to say “yes” to other leaders and so-called experts that, if listening to intuition, this intuition (a gut feeling that “knows” our values and purpose) is screaming “no.”

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Connecting people to business performance

Where do people fit into the business model? This may seem like an absurd question….

We have learned that business success depends on having the right mix of the four p’s – price, product, place and promotion.

Now that knowledge management is the key to 21st century business success, the fifth p – people – becomes critical.

HR is positioned to be a strategic director; one tasked with helping the rest of the organization weave people into management information systems.

What if ______________ (your organization) operate like:

Wow! Attracting a strong team

We are positioning ourselves to great improvement in visibility, our front line theme, thanks for ——–.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: “WOW!”, for so quickly building a sales team for C-Secure Systems!!!

Why is this “wow!”? Not only has he continued to seek connections with new prospective customers and improve our message as targeted to those customers, he also has attracted to C-Secure one other senior- and two junior- sales professionals.

Why is it important? We have an unmatched turn-key tailored solution for monitoring, managing, securing and gaining intelligence from and about machines (and vehicles, structures, etc.)…yet we are almost invisible.  Yes, we have a website.  We waited too long to get it optimized so we are contacted infrequently (good news: when we do get calls they are highly qualified already).  Although we are fixing this now, the clock is ticking!   In fact we need to be well locked-in with customers f-a-s-t…before we become well-known to competitors.  I have confidence in him.  He and his growing team will better find, engage and close deals.

Congrats!

-Lori

P.S.S  The mix of people provided in the first “Wow” email has changed!  Some gone, several added.  The newest ones are not seeing this yet, and they will be introduced soon. In every case I see improvement.  This is what having themes (ours are Stability! And Visibility!) can do for a company, especially when themes are also aligned with our purpose and mission/values.  They are.  And so are our people.  For those of you seeing this email, I am thrilled to have you here.  Please continue to find us great people as we grow!

Marketing skills for leaders, managers and HR: Observe Obama

I’m writing this to get your attention and give you some ideas about “marketing” to your own people. I mean, the people that can affect the success of your company, be they employees including management, Board, community, suppliers, outsourced entities, etc.

Parts of this blog post are excerpted from an article that originally appeared as part one of a two-part series in Steve Harrison’s Book Marketing Update print newsletter. Steve and his brother Bill are successful information marketers, who are also successful at staying on that higher ground that I so appreciate. I’m not an author yet, but when I am they will be the guys I will turn to for help.

My comments are in italics.

No matter which candidate you like (or dislike) in the current presidential race, one thing is obvious: Barack Obama is one heck of a marketer.

I will refrain from stating my political viewpoints here. This post is about using marketing skills to motivate.

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Wow! Taking initiative

I really have to say “Wow!”  We have had a great show of team work this week.

As you may know, we have two themes going this year:

For our front lines the theme is “Visibility!” and involves gaining online traffic, reaching out also through direct mail and word-of-mouth referrals, engaging prospects and customers through continuous communication, converting leads to sales, and following up in a way that makes our customers say “wow.”

For our support team the theme is “Stability!” and involves not simply knowing what to do, but having the initiative to take responsibility and action, excel at teamwork (everyone can be a mentor), learn with an aim to enhance yourself while adding more value to the company, be accessible and communicate, communicate, communicate!

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HR & Technology; small improvements lead to big gains for people

You need this to be painless; a small shift to realize a big gain. Or likely many small shifts… a bit to the left… a bit to the right… now back on center… to get to where you want you and this organization to go. Like a ship on autopilot. Wow, that does sound nice. Can you have it? Yes, actually you can.

But there is no way that people alone can manage it all. You know you need technology. And there, you’ve just dumped yourself into overwhelm all over again. You have learned from experience that implementing information systems is costly and painful. Oh, and then you have to involve IT and they are so busy!

And what your or other divisions have spent on technology so far may not have added the value expected.

I can tell you that one seeming failure is not the fault of the technology purchased or the buyers or sellers… it is that transactional systems were not built to add context (from/about people) or offer easy ad hoc reporting or even management reporting. So then lots of dollars were spent on “integrating systems” and getting to that data that seemed locked away. You really had to go to this effort to get to the data you wanted to see.

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Wow! Innovation

Hi everyone!

You have ALL done great things (those with us for more than one week) and I’m in arrears of shouting about it.

I’m starting now with a  Team “Wow!” of the Week 

Here’s our “wow” for this week: He succeeded in re-developing our light-weight gauge in EXECUTE! so that the pointers move to point to the actual value (not just to the color-code), at all reporting levels and for any date.

Why is this “wow!”? We did not think it could be done.
Why was it important?  Our higher-quality “cooler” gauge could result in slow viewing for customers connected via low bandwidths, such as new prospects in Asia who will be trying and buying soon!

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